Economist: Taoiseach did not discuss Anglo with FitzPatrick

The economist who had drinks with the Taoiseach after his golf game with Sean Fitzpatrick has issued a statement to say the group did not discuss Anglo Irish Bank at their meeting in Druids Glen.

The economist who had drinks with the Taoiseach after his golf game with Sean Fitzpatrick has issued a statement to say the group did not discuss Anglo Irish Bank at their meeting in Druids Glen.

Alan Gray, who was appointed to the board of the Central Bank by Brian Cowen, said the men present discussed the economy and jobs growth.

Meanwhile, there is a report this morning that Fianna Fáil could be on the brink of a leadership heave, suggesting a challenge could be coming either from senior ministers or backbenchers today.

It was right at the very end of leaders questions in the Dáil yesterday that Brian Cowen revealed a new piece of information about his contacts with Sean Fitzpatrick.

He said after he played golf with the former Anglo Chairman, and the bank's director - his friend Fintan Drury - they were joined in the bar by another Anglo director Garry McGann and Mr Gray, a director on the board of the Financial Regulator appointed to that job by Mr Cowen himself.

Opposition parties said it is impossible to believe that Anglo Irish Bank was not discussed that evening when three of the banks directors and a board member from the Central Bank were present.

But last night Mr Gray issued a statement in which he said he was invited to the event to provide independent ideas to stimulate economic growth, and he said there was no discussion of Anglo Irish Bank.

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